Church leaders call on West Sussex County Council to save adult social care services

The Argus: Church leaders call on West Sussex County Council to save adult social care services Church leaders call on West Sussex County Council to save adult social care services

Religious leaders have called on councillors to protect spending on social care on the eve of budget talks.

The Bishop of Chichester and the Bishop of Horsham have co-signed a letter calling on West Sussex County Council to strongly consider any reduction in social care budgets while building up millions of pounds worth of reserves.

The Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner and the Rt Revd Mark Sowerby point out that the authority is proposing to reduce spending by £55 million over the next two years on top of £80 million over the past three years while building up reserves by approximately £50 million.

They wrote: “We urge all members of the Council to consider carefully any proposal to reduce spending on social care further.

“We especially urge them to consider whether it is right to maintain or increase large reserves of public money at a time of financial stringency for many.

“The recent establishment of food banks even in some of our prosperous areas exemplifies the pressures under which people in our communities are labouring, and we are concerned about the effects of past cuts on already vulnerable individuals and families.

“Whilst fiscal prudence is important, those who have the responsibility of public funds should avoid unnecessary austerity when many of their constituents are experiencing material need.”

Comments (4)

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10:41am Fri 14 Feb 14

Morpheus says...

Shouldn't the church leaders be calling on their flocks to provide the care services for nothing because of their love for all people.
Shouldn't the church leaders be calling on their flocks to provide the care services for nothing because of their love for all people. Morpheus

11:10am Fri 14 Feb 14

LB says...

This is the same Church that closed Kowles Tooth in Hurstpierpoint - a centre that provided facilities for exactly the same people they are saying will be affected by social services cuts.

"first look at the plank in your eye." Matthew 7:5

seems to be quite appropriate.
This is the same Church that closed Kowles Tooth in Hurstpierpoint - a centre that provided facilities for exactly the same people they are saying will be affected by social services cuts. "first look at the plank in your eye." Matthew 7:5 seems to be quite appropriate. LB

12:51pm Fri 14 Feb 14

andrewedmondson says...

The first two comments are fine if you support giving religious organisations more control over welfare services (and education).

I do not want us to go back to Victorian philanthropy and charity. We created a welfare state because it was not up to the job and open to discrimination.

Religious spokespeople like these bishops have a right to make their comments about practical matters, just like anyone else. Of course, they get more press coverage than the average person but that doesn't make them wrong.

However, they should keep quiet about issues of morality, where they have no authority whatsoever. Giving a bishop media coverage to lecture us on family values, sex education, homophobia, same sex marriage, equality, religious education, faith schools, euthanasia, abortion, etc. etc. will attract the criticism and derision they deserve.

On the issue of funding for people in need, the bishops could encourage the government to raise taxes to pay for it, but I don't hear them saying this. Perhaps their popularity would diminish even further? And whilst they're at it, why not raise taxes a bit more so that they don't have to provide essential services like hospices, care homes, etc. Why should the vulnerable be at the mercy of religious organisations in the 21st century?

On second thoughts, how can bishops tell the government how to spend their money when their voluntary aided faith schools no longer have to pay for maintenance costs (originally 50%) in return for their right to religiously discriminate against children, parents and teachers? We are paying these schools to discriminate; I don't call that good value for hard earned taxes.
The first two comments are fine if you support giving religious organisations more control over welfare services (and education). I do not want us to go back to Victorian philanthropy and charity. We created a welfare state because it was not up to the job and open to discrimination. Religious spokespeople like these bishops have a right to make their comments about practical matters, just like anyone else. Of course, they get more press coverage than the average person but that doesn't make them wrong. However, they should keep quiet about issues of morality, where they have no authority whatsoever. Giving a bishop media coverage to lecture us on family values, sex education, homophobia, same sex marriage, equality, religious education, faith schools, euthanasia, abortion, etc. etc. will attract the criticism and derision they deserve. On the issue of funding for people in need, the bishops could encourage the government to raise taxes to pay for it, but I don't hear them saying this. Perhaps their popularity would diminish even further? And whilst they're at it, why not raise taxes a bit more so that they don't have to provide essential services like hospices, care homes, etc. Why should the vulnerable be at the mercy of religious organisations in the 21st century? On second thoughts, how can bishops tell the government how to spend their money when their voluntary aided faith schools no longer have to pay for maintenance costs (originally 50%) in return for their right to religiously discriminate against children, parents and teachers? We are paying these schools to discriminate; I don't call that good value for hard earned taxes. andrewedmondson

8:42am Sun 16 Feb 14

I'm H Jarrs and I can't stand cars! says...

HJ says that these people would do well to sort out their own scandalous history, before meddling in our future.
HJ says that these people would do well to sort out their own scandalous history, before meddling in our future. I'm H Jarrs and I can't stand cars!

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